Sunday, August 13, 2017

My thoughts on #Charlottesville

Should've written this here, but I will copy what was written over at The Moleskine regarding Charlottesville, Virginia. With the video clip above this time, it's not the whole breadth of the situation as it has turned far more tragic! [VIDEO]

HAVING GOTTEN THE GIST OF THE TRAGIC situation in Charlottesville, Virginia it reminds me of how we should know people hold hateful and racist views of their fellow human beings. We should know and of course find ways to denounce them. They shouldn't be ignored and you should never fight them.

Once upon a time in America the Klu Klux Klan has some power in this country to suppress Black citizens in parts of this nation. Today anyone even remotely related to the Klan no longer have the legal power of old. Thus the Klan doesn't have much teeth other than the individuals who hold such abhorrent views of their fellow American citizens.

With this said the so-called "white nationalists" were only in this Virginia city to disrupt. This is their new power as I have started to believe these racist organization are largely irrelevant as a force. By engaging these groups violently you only incur the response of "see who hate us". Let's us prove we're the opposite of their ideology and of course oppose them, but realize hating the haters get us nowhere.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

It's time for "The Trump Effect"

[VIDEO] The Trump Effect : Deprogramming the American Mind is something I had put on the back burner since late last month posting it at "The Moleskine". Basically it's an hour of author/filmmaker Lawrence Jarvik (@LaurenceJarvik) talking about President Trump and how he's going to crack through the political correctness prevalent in this nation.

What I responded to most was the President's background. Trump is already independently wealthy, he comes from a construction business background, he also largely comes from a wealthy family and doesn't have to worry about where he's going to live because he's mostly lived in Trump properties. Jarvik sees these as positives in deprogramming the American mind. He was able to live his life individualistically without being restrained by having to please bosses.

Everything else, I had trouble grasping and it's possible that I need to be deprogrammed. Jarvik cites 9/11 as the start of this PC culture or at least it got far more intense, but as illustrated as you go through this vid political correctness has been around for years. Even worse it was probably found in other totalitarian regimes whether the Nazis or certainly in Communist regimes.

Another idea of note, Trump approaches issues and policies - not from an ideological approach - he approaches them from a realistic approach. That makes sense he is in real estate and you have to solve real problems of construction or maintenance so thus you realistically can solve the problem of structure or perhaps an hvac unit.

Perhaps in American politics the realistic approach is what is missing. With this in mind although I never voted for Trump last November, I can appreciate his unorthodox approach to the Presidency. Yeah he's certainly had plenty of rough bumps since taking office in January, however, some aspects of getting through the noise of the mainstream media (well "fake news") I certainly understand why he takes to twitter to send out his messages.

Great video, perhaps some of you will take something from this. BTW, Trump could be the inspiration for many in a variety of ways, perhaps many of us can start our own business empires and get wealthy, perhaps we can be more outspoken on some issues that we care about, perhaps we can seek out more of the truth on our own, or conversely discredit those who often tell lies. One thing we want to be careful about is that so far Trump can be Trump.

Trump can weather these attacks as far as his business dealings or even any allegations of sexual assault towards women. So far it doesn't matter, however, not all of us are made of kevlar or teflon. Bottom line if you do your own thing expect people to want to attack you because it's not what they would do!

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Saw Spider Man Homecoming....twice

[VIDEOSpider Man Homecoming is a movie I enjoyed seeing twice. The iconic Marvel Comics superhero is essentially part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Tony Stark featuring heavily as something of a mentor to this young teenage meta-human. And yes for the most part comic book fans already know his origin.

When you think about it, this isn't an origin film. Basically the movie starts after Spider Man's cameo appearance in Capt. America: Civil War facing off against needless to say Capt. America and his allies. Then back to NYC where Peter Parker is juggling adolescence, superhero business, school, etc.

Even weirder Spider Man's suit is the coolest suit ever seen and near the end he had it taken away from him. Parker had to rely only on his meta-human abilities and identity essentially concealed by a homemade customer consisting of sweatpants and a hoodie. The suit is made by Tony Stark and has all types of cool bells and whistles which for a brief time was also taken away from him.

BTW, this movie's version of Aunt Mae, I'd be trying to gain favor from her also. The youngest and most prettiest incarnation of her ever. Although for most of her portrayals she had little clue of Parker's double-life. Time may tell if future movies go with this, but it looks like now she knows!

How this film was portrayed? Well you're reading the blog of a man who used to be a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I wanted to know martial arts like they did and wanted to be a hero. A kid likes to think about heroes and probably wishes they could be like Peter Parker with heart and the ability to beat bad guys.

I feel as if I gave away some plot points, but before that film leaves theaters near you go see it. Spider Man Homecoming essentially is the third superhero move of the summer. I was glad to see almost two months after a June release Wonder Woman is still going strong and having seen Guardians of the Galaxy which was also a good movie to see.

And I almost forgot about Logan which is a movie that rubbed me the wrong way. Main thing about that movie was that it ended on a depressing note and it was mostly a very dark feature. Although to be fair perhaps a fitting note to end Hugh Jackman's time as Logan/Wolverine.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Cook County Beverage Tax #tweetyoureciept

It seems here in Chicago our politicians have this great need to engage in some form of social engineering. I wish I had been paying attention to whatever debate took place at the county regarding this tax. Of course these things are never about encouraging people to change their behaviors it's about the revenue. It's about taking some of YOUR money!

Out of Cook County Chicago we have examples of a plastic bottle tax which is per bottle in the city, the idea is to discourage people from buying these plastic bottles that may or may not biodegrade. Just like these plastic grocery bags we'll talk about in a bit. Either way want a pack of bottle water however many there in too bad a tax per bottle. So far it appears the city has little interest in repealing that tax as far as I know. In stead my mother prefers to go outside of the city to buy a pack of bottle water.

Of course more recently is the bag tax. During the past year Chicago attempted to ban the simple grocery bags to discourage their use among city residents. Well that failed and around New Years a 7 cent tax was instituted on plastic and paper bags. The idea was to encourage people to bring their own bags to shop, although the reality is again for the city to further collect more revenue. One report has shown that the city actually has come short of their expected revenue forecasts. Irony one ordinance to discourage use of grocery bags was repealed and now a new ordinance to address this issue also hasn't lived up to expectiations.

And now the beverage tax and even our county board president who at first hides behind the idea that instituting this tax will promote public health admits this is about raising revenue:
"Raising revenue was never my first choice," Preckwinkle said in November. "This measure provides important revenue, not only to avoid damaging cuts for public health and public safety systems, but also to expand our community-based interventions in both arenas. It also puts us on a stable financial footing for the next three fiscal years, during which we will not have to approve any additional tax increases."

Cook County is depending on the tax revenue. It had been expecting the tax to bring in $67.5 million this year and $200.6 million in 2018.

The county lost about $20 million from not being able to collect the tax in July, said Frank Shuftan, a spokesman for Preckwinkle. It will have to make up that money in order to balance the budget, and that could mean layoffs. Shuftan said a small number of employees have already been laid off, but he couldn't provide an exact figure.
This article makes sure to note that this law was poorly written and it was made clear that no business people were at the table to help write this law and institute this tax. In fact a business group filed a lawsuit to block the tax back in June. There was an injunction that was recently lifted that allowed for the ultimate implementation of this tax which was originally supposed to start in July.

I was late to the party by the twitter account of the Tribune Editorial Board wanted citizens to post their reciepts to show the amount of the beverage tax. Hopefully to show some discontent and even though this was almost a day old by the time I learned of this, you can see my tweet below.

Also I see via the CBS Chicago link that there was at least one vote against this tax by Commissioner Boykin who's a Democrat. There are 17 members of the board of commissioners. I got to find out how many votes were in favor and who voted on it.

BTW, this is the only one that caught my interest there are other laws implemented by Chicago that may prove damaging to businesses, workers, and residents. I'd like to share my thoughts on them in the near future. And furthermore as much as these laws are well meaning my concern is that they could also result in the opposite effect.

BTW I forgot that the County is attempting to sue this anti-beverage tax business group for $17 million. The county wants the money they lost out on as the injunction prevented them from collecting on the taxes. My tweet upon hearing about this

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Charlie Gard

I'm going to ache for Charlie's parents. I don't yet have any children but it's shame what happened during the course of at least the past month of so. They wanted their baby who isn't yet a year old to have a chance at life, and unfortunately were thwarted by health and legal authorities in Britain and Europe.

The authorities didn't want them to attempt to sent their baby who is suffering from a rare genetic condition. This story even elicitied a tweet from the President indicating that he would like to help facilitate a visit for the parents and child to visit this nation so that they could seek further treatment for their boy.

Sadly we learned that it's too late. His life is over and he's not even one-full year! Unfortunately parents and doctors disagree over the appropriate course of action, however, in Great Britain doctors can seemingly overrule parents. Seeking an experimental treatment for this child in his condition they believed would cause the child more pain. So the doctors got backed up by the courts who and the course of action the doctors intended was to take this 11-month-old off of life support.

The parents of Charlie has found out after an examination that this experiment treatment isn't like to help him. Whatever damage from this genetic condition has been too far advance for this experiment treatment to do any good.

So, these death panels we hear about especially during the debate over Obamacare? Well we see one example if we look into created a socialized single-payer health care system in America. You as a parent want to help your child, but the resources to treat your child they may decide needs to go elsewhere because medicine did all they could and the condition isn't changing. I just got to say that's cold! Perhaps there's a virtue to a consumer based system Charlie's parents should be able to get second or third opinions.

So with the opinion of an American doctor - as far as this experimental treatment is over - and that means his parents have ended all appeals. And Charlie's life will end soon and it hadn't even gotten off the ground.

Finally I shared this video over at E.M. during the past month and in relation to Charlie's case. I will share it here - although it's a 10-year-old vid. An example of how a public health care system many not always work in favor of someone who absolutely needs treatment. [VIDEO]

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Dunkirk

As briefly written at E.M. this film was my Saturday movie and one that was very heavily promoted in movie trailers for the last couple of months. Dunkirk is a French town near the Belgian border where allied forces of Britain and France were surrounded by forces of Nazi Germany. That situation and the Hollywood depiction of this battle were without a doubt bleak.

Knowing history you already know the conclusion of this story, however, just remember that in 1940 when these events took place the second World War wasn't looking very good. The armies of fascism and militarism had been expanding in Europe and the Pacific. With the collapse of France and Britain all alone with the United States staying out of the war yeah it was hard to say the Allies was going to win the war in 1945.

It became clear why it was very important for Britain to get their army back from Nazi occupied France, English military leaders recognize that they're next. The air Battle of Britain was coming after this and if the British couldn't hold their airspace soon Great Britain could be the next nation occupied by Nazi Germany. If you remember history, you also would know how that turned out!

The story was broken out in three parts to start the story began with the infantryman perspective, then we saw the airmen who tried to protect the ground troops from the air - and just think the troops on a beach waiting for evacuation were being harassed by German planes with bombs and bullets, and finally we see the story of one civilian mariner who set off for Dunkirk to do their part for Britain to help evacuate Allied troops from a bleak situation.

It seems many of Christopher Nolan's film masterpieces are known for being long at least over two hours. To my surprise Nolan kept this historic movie short at least slightly under two hours. It told the story it needed to tell and certainly it was wonderfully shot. The story was simple if the Allied forces fighting against the Nazis were to survive they needed to get out of France which had already fallen.

I would recommend this war movie if you will. Hopefully you'll go out and see it while it's out at a theater near you. Perhaps you should look up anything on Dunkirk before you purchase that movie ticket.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

OJ Simpson gets paroled

[VIDEO] A strange saga ended today. OJ Simpson had found himself in the Nevada prison system on charges of robbery and kidnapping. He was sentenced to 33 years and today he was paroled after serving 9 years.

The way I saw it after what happened in 1994 with the murder of his ex-wife and her companion there was a gradual decline that saw him in prison in spite of himself. Many would agree he couldn't stay out of the public eye to save his life and think about it the murders he had been acquitted of were following him everywhere. And this is in spite of him being acquitted of those murder charges. The more his name was in the news the more I realized he was likely to be a magnet and it was necessary to shake my head.

To go backwards in time, it seemed like a century ago when OJ was being chased slowly on an LA highway in a Ford Bronco. At the time of this chase I had little idea it was over a murder and that year my family saw the last picture Simpson was ever in the last Naked Gun movie.

Even worse, the court proceedings and ultimate trial showed how split along racial lines that people were about this case. The general idea was that OJ was guilty in the eyes of whites and he was innocent in the eyes of Blacks. It's possible that whites hoped the justice system would prevail, and Blacks simply didn't want to see another Black man railroaded into prison or worse.

In my high school French class our teacher pulled out the TV the day of the verdict and the class was happy that OJ was acquitted. If I recall sometime later one of Simpson's lawyers the late Johnnie Cochran noted that many Blacks wanted to see a Black man get off. Think about the significance of that statement and also consider the knowledge that a number of Blacks over generations were railroaded into prison or worse into the electric chair - executed and sometimes for a crime they didn't commit.

Either way OJ is beginning his march to freedom outside of the justice system. Yes he's on parole now and while I may expected him to stay out of the trouble, I hope he does.

BTW, on social media - something that didn't exist during his murder trial - have been wanting to remind everyone that Simpson was Black. Huh? Wouldn't that be the one thing he could frivolously have brought up at anytime? Oh yeah the Goldman family is only chasing him around because he's Black? Or he's in prison because he's Black? I'm not sure that would be smart and certainly not because today was the first day of his life outside of prison.

BTW, I'm going to show you full video of his parole hearing. Perhaps in spite of his smirking or any failure to be remorseful according to experts who have been following this - which include one former police detective Mark Fuhrman - he was getting paroled. But perhaps he did say something in relation to his race insuring that those who cared know that he knows who and what he is. Of course personality-wise there is going to be varied opinions.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Malcolm X on liberals


[VIDEO] I'm really impressed. To be fair, I've done an awful job of looking at any quotes the fiery Malcolm X has made during his lifetime but this video is most interesting because he may well be addressing today's Black progressives.

Mike Cernovich - one of the more active personalities from the "alt-right" - published this video. Juxtaposes Malcolm X words with a number of today's Black leaders. Shaun King, Rev. Al Sharpton, Barack & Michelle Obama, Van Jones, Maxine Waters, even Marc Lamont Hill.

Cernovich is likely using Malcolm X's words to state that perhaps these so-called white liberals aren't serving Blacks in this country. The Black leaders are nothing more than puppets to these white liberals. Quite incendiary I will say though the question is could it resonate?

If you want to know more about Mike Cernovich you can often find him on periscope and follow him on twitter if you want to be alerted to future live videos from him.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Life plan for high school diploma?

[VIDEO] When I graduate from high school years ago, my mind was no even close to considering the next steps. If only my mind was on a gap year as I still was unsure about the next step. Some time off could've helped me although what would I do during that time off.

So off to the City Colleges of Chicago I went. Even worse I'm a long way from wanting to reach out to a counselor to even help formulate a plan for post-secondary life. If anyone needed a plan it's yours truly as an 18-year-old kid.

Funny part about this story though, my grades in high school were good. I tried to tell my parents they came too easy as I was never an honor roll student in grammar school. As a matter of fact my mother told me recently that she just plain forgot about the grade from the elementary days. Due to whatever I did in high school there were some expectations and I never met them!

Well to discuss the video you see above, this idea is well intended. Unfortunately like a lot of ordinances coming out of Chicago's City Council this could backfire. You want to help kids decide on their futures don't hold a diploma from them - a diploma is certainly a very important accomplishment for so many Chicago Public School students. Instead create a program so that they can have the tools to make some short-term life plans such as after high school life.

Pair them with a counselor who will discuss some options with them. Perhaps find some mentoring programs. Make life plans an expectation but not a condition for graduation.

Monday, July 03, 2017

The President's use of Twitter

We've had an unorthodox 6 months or so since Donald J. Trump became President. The unorthodoxy involves his use of social media - especially Twitter - to go over the heads of the mainstream media. Another more obvious unorthodoxy is essentially being the first President to have never held an elective or appointed office nor does he have any military experience. The President could be described as a businessman out of New York City who has earned billions over his lifetime (bankruptcy or not) and he came from the entertainment world with his hit reality series The Apprentice.

A lot of us are seeing some aspects of his showmanship not only on the campaign trail but as President. Last week the President wrote a tweet that referred to a certain MSNBC personality  as having a facelift from which they were still bleeding. And much later a tweet where Donald Trump from a past WWF Wrestlemania tackles a person who represents CNN and starts punching them. Sadly such an innocuous tweet became a way to say the President is inciting violence against the media.

Funny thing is I get what the President is doing. There are many who don't understand his attacks against networks such as MSNBC and CNN, but they may not understand that yes perhaps the people in charge of these organizations are vehemently against the President. Not everyone in the various media orgs of this nation are against him, but there are a good number who are. Many of them may well have been of the leftist/progressive ilk if you will and see no other way other than their own.

Why does the President use twitter, primarily to get his own message out without the filter of the media? In any other era perhaps Trump would use a printing press or hire his own broadcast team. Today he's using tools readily available to everyone call social media. He's used twitter to campaign and uses it to transmit his message directly to the American people as President. Hear it from the horse's mouth and then make of it as you will.

For me as a passive observer this is entertaining to see the President take his shots and often only after provocation from any of the mainstream media personalities. The overreaction - especially the press trying to paint themselves as the victims - certainly only add fuel to the fire.